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How to improve the relationship between education and employment

3 episodes
  • 1
    Maths: an essential subject whose level is falling in a majority of countries
  • 2
    Who are “Neets”, precarious dropouts without training or employment?
  • 3
    Can we measure the link between education and youth unemployment?
Épisode 1/3
Clément Boulle, Executive director of Polytechnique Insights
On January 12th, 2022
4 mins reading time
Eric Charbonnier
Eric Charbonnier
Analyst in the Education and Skills Directorate at the OECD

Key takeaways

  • In France, 87% of 25–34-year-olds with higher education are in employment, compared to only 51% of those with no qualifications – one of the largest gaps of any OECD country.
  • Mathematics grades have been blamed. In 2003, 15% of French students scored very high in maths, while in 2018, only 11% did so.
  • These results are reflected in the latest international study (TIMSS) where France ranked lowest with an average score of 488 points – for a European average of 527 points.
  • According to this study, grade 4 (CM1) teachers in France are the most likely to report feeling uncomfortable when it comes to improving the mathematical understanding of students with difficulties.
  • In Finland, the curriculum now focuses on non-cognitive skills such as creativity and collaboration. Numeracy is still important, but the relationship to mathematics is deconstructed and treated in an interdisciplinary way.
Épisode 2/3
On January 12th, 2022
4 mins reading time
Jean-Francois Giret
Jean-François Giret
Professor of Education Science at Université de Bourgogne

Key takeaways

  • “Neet” refers to young people aged 15-34 who are Not in Education, Employment or Training.
  • The term originated in the 1980s when the United Kingdom wanted to identify young people, previously invisible to regular statistical measures, who had dropped out of the labor market.
  • Their proportion of the population varies greatly from country to country; less than 10% for some such as Switzerland (7%), the Netherlands (7.2%) or Sweden (7.6%), but between 10-15% in most OECD countries.
  • The probability of becoming a Neet is very high in people who lack written language and mathematical skills. Some graduates even have a deficit in basic skills can be a handicap in accessing employment.
  • Countries with a dual education system, such as Germany, Switzerland and Austria, have Neet rates generally below 10%. Apprenticeships can facilitate the transition from the education system to the labor market.
Épisode 3/3
James Bowers, Chief editor at Polytechnique Insights
On January 12th, 2022
5 mins reading time
Jörg Markowitsch
Jörg Markowitsch
Senior Partner and Policy Adviser at 3s Research & Consultancy

Key takeaways

  • Global youth unemployment rate is around 75 million with varying proportions across countries – compared with 621 million NEETs.
  • The youth labour market is a key indicator of a healthy economic system partly because when there is pressure on the financial markets the first to be laid off are the youngest and there are also fewer apprenticeships available during these periods.
  • Economic models of the education-employment linkage (EEL) have drawn upon an optimal equilibrium to propose that shared input from both public education systems and private entities is a solution youth unemployment.
  • Another model uses the EEL index to rank countries. The correlation between the EEL index and the youth unemployment rate shows that the countries with the best results are those with lower youth unemployment.

Contributors

Clément Boulle

Clément Boulle

Executive director of Polytechnique Insights

Clément Boulle is a journalist and entrepreneur. A graduate of École supérieure de journalisme (ESJ) in Lille, he holds an executive MBA from INSEAD. Before joining Polytechnique Insights, he spent six years developing digital marketing company Local Media, an online advertising agency for local advertisers, which he then sold. Early on in his career, he was a journalist and editor-in-chief in the La Dépêche du Midi media group. He also worked for the French Red Cross as a consultant, helping design and develop a social innovation incubator.

James Bowers

James Bowers

Chief editor at Polytechnique Insights

James Bowers has a PhD in molecular biology from the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle and an MSc in Science Media Production from Imperial College London. He has six years of experience creating engaging scientific media in digital, TV and other outlets in the UK and France. Most recently, James worked as a science communication consultant and trainer for a French agency, Agent Majeur, for three years where he co-authored the book, Sell Your Research: Public Speaking for Scientists published by Springer.